LOS ANGELES – The Latest on two Colombian men charged with trying to smuggle tons of cocaine into the United States (all times local):
Two Colombian men have pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles to charges that they conspired to smuggle $72 million worth of cocaine into the United States.
City News Service says Dicson Penagos-Casanova and Juan Gabriel Rios Sierra entered pleas Wednesday to charges that could send them to federal prison for life.
Prosecutors say the men arranged to have tons of cocaine hauled from Colombian labs to clandestine airstrips in Venezuela. The drug was then packed aboard jets and flown to Central American hubs for further distribution in the U.S. and Mexico.
But authorities say one plane was shot down by the Venezuelan Air Force last year and another crashed.